IAIN Moran is fighting the stereotype of magicians as men in shiny capes who saw glamourous ladies in half and pull rabbits from top hats.

He prefers a more modern sophisticated approach to magic - think Derren Brown rather than Paul Daniels.

"I wanted to get away from the fact a lot of people think of magicians as children's entertainers," said Iain.

"My show is very modern and suitable for both adults and kids. I do a lot of classic magic - I borrow people's money and destroy it, then it appears somewhere good at the end of the show.

"I also do Derren Brown-style stuff, including mind reading, which is becoming more popular nowadays.

"A favourite trick I do is to randomly pick volunteers out of the audience and ask them to tell me the name of a make of car and a colour.

"Then I open my wallet and inside a zipped envelope will be the answers they've said.

"People get quite freaked out by it. I find the combination of classic and new stuff keeps people on their toes."

Iain, who has won international awards for his act, was recently invited by Sky TV to teach former England cricket captain Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff a few tricks.

As part of the Cricket AM programme the cricketer undertakes to learn a new skill in an afternoon.

For the show aired on July 7 producers decided Freddie would be a magician for the day and searched the Magic Circle website and found Iain.

"I'm not a massive cricket fan but I'm a massive Freddie Flintoff fan," said Iain.

"He was such a lovely guy, which I didn't expect because he's a legend isn't he, so he doesn't have to be nice.

"He was a straightforward bloke, very easy to talk to and an excellent student.

"I've met quite a few celebrities in my time and Freddie is definitely one of the nicest."

Iain, 33, born and bred in Manchester, has been mastering magic tricks since he was 12-years-old.

His love of magic began while watching Paul Daniels on TV with his dad.

"I remember sitting there with my dad watching the TV saying 'I wish I could do that'.

"Then one day we were watching the local news and saw a report on a magic convention.

"I got my mum to ring up the BBC to find out where it was being held and we went.

"I got my first magic set and I've never looked back."

He's come a long way since those early magic sets with bendy wands and coloured scarves - and is now an associate of the inner Magic Circle - the prestigious London-based magic society.

"The Magic Circle is quite exclusive club, there's only about 1,300 members worldwide and there are considerably fewer associates, "said Iain.

"It's a very nervewracking audition process, put it that way."

Of course the Magic Circle rules state that no magician should ever reveal his tricks - so how did Iain get away with giving his secrets away to Freddie Flintoff?

"We're allowed to teach simple tricks to people," explained Iain.

"Basically the rule is you're not allowed to reveal how the bigger tricks are done.

"There have been several high profile cases where magicians have been thrown out for revealing secrets.

"What tends to happen is that a TV company offers them a few thousand pounds to do a show revealing the secrets of their tricks.

"They do the show, get the money, then get thrown out.

"If after a show a child comes up to me and tells me he really enjoyed the show and would like to be a magician when he grows up more often than not if I've got time I teach him a couple of easy tricks so he can go away and show his friends.

"I suppose you could argue that's breaking the rules, but if we didn't do that the art of magic would die out."

Ian also has two best-selling DVDs on the market teaching young magicians how to master close-up magic tricks.

"It's amazing that if I type my name into the internet these DVDs, made by me, an ordinary bloke from Manchester, are being talked about on forums in America and Japan," said Iain.

"It's a great feeling to get up in the morning. I'm very lucky.

"I get to travel the world, met new people and entertain people doing a job I love."

Iain Moran at Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn on Saturday, September 1. For tickets call box office on 01254 680137.